Friday, June 27, 2008

Retouching History: Running the Alternate Lynn Spencer Persona

As arbitrary and capricious as Lynn Spencer's personal flygirl webpage found at is, it gets weirder in context with an alternate Lynn Spencer personality expressed in a stand-alone web effort promoting the 9-11 book, "Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama that Unfolded in the Skies over America on 9-11." The site's name,, has the echo of a working title to it. In it, the author's profile comes with all the professsional trappings one could ever possibly ask to be verified: an agent, Jane Dystel; her literary agency, Dystel & Goderich; some author contact info:; and much else. (In the email address, Spencer self-identifies as an aviatress--not an aviatrix or aviatrice, so I feel a certain affini-symmetry in having unwittingly titled yesterday's blog "Lynn Spencer: Authoress and Pilotess!")

Today, Lynn Spencer is a Duke University grad who "completed her high altitude training at the Johnson Space Center," little details NPR never got around to mentioning.

But lets take a look at Spencer's acknowledgment's page:

"I am especially indebted to Paul Worcester and Don Shepperd, who graciously opened the doors of the aviation and military communities. Their encouragement, guidance, and tireless introductions made this book possible. I am deeply grateful for their “you can do it and you’ll do it right” attitudes, which motivated me to reach deeper within myself to achieve more than I thought I could.

"Several individuals deserve special thanks, including Colin Scoggins, Larry Arnold, Ben Sliney and Joe McCain for their prompt replies to my myriads of e-mail and phone questions that arrived at all hours of the day and night asking for information and explanations. Thanks also to Paul Olechowski, Harvey Siegel, Sandy Niedzwiecki and Kerri Cole of the 102nd FW, James Hambrick at the FBI, Thomas Territt at NEADS and authors Loree Lough, Rick Newmann, Carol Jose and J. Carson Black. Your input, advice and guidance were much appreciated. Thank you Gen. Richard Myers for the time you gave me over cups of coffee at Starbucks.

"I knew I could fly, but I was not as sure about writing, and I owe a debt to those who helped with reading and editing the manuscript: Paul Worcester, Rose Shepperd, Ann Levy and Jordan Genest. Your assistance enabled me to pull everything together and produce a readable manuscript for my wonderful editor, Emily Loose. I was awed by Emily’s quick grasp of the intricacies and complexities of this project, her patience and, above all, her insightful and creative editing. It was a delight to work with her. My heartfelt thanks to everyone at Simon & Schuster for helping me make this dream a reality.

"I could not have accomplished this project without the assistance of the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association, and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, who spread the word to their memberships. Heartfelt thanks to all their members who generously shared their stories.

"It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with NORAD and the Air National Guard, whose units and members were tirelessly forthcoming with information and personal accounts. Thank you to the men and women of NEADS, the 177th Fighter Wing, the 113th Wing, the 119th Fighter Wing and the 180th Fighter Wing, and to Lt. Col. Roberta Neidt of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs who was kind enough to make my first military introductions. A special thanks to the 102nd Fighter Wing, whose members not only shared their stories, but also gave me the opportunity to fly in an F-15. In doing so – and retracing the flights paths of the Otis fighters as well as American 11 on that fateful day – I gained an invaluable understanding and perspective. You all are the best!

"And finally, a huge thank you to my agent, Jane Dystel, who took a chance on a pilot who had no writing experience. She believed in the stories and my ability to share them, and offered invaluable guidance and assistance every step of the way, never once making me feel foolish for my ignorance of the publishing business. I will always be grateful for the opportunity and her faith in me."

"Oh, it has been such a pleasure and such an honor to work with you." Here we have some real flesh and blood to subpoena, indict and leverage. The professionals mentioned were utilized to provide legitimacy to a historical cover-up. However, that effort failed before its publication date in the rapidly shifting environment of 9-11 truth consciousness. THEY THEN NEEDED TO COVER-UP THE COVER-UP, throwing the book under the bus by attributing it to a synthetic bimbo persona (Compare the two author's photographs for the public relations intent.) While the personalities expressed between the two web sites aren't entirely irreconcilable, they're highly unlikely to march well in tandem.

I had been on a long search, using variations on search terms, trying to find a cache or copy of an earlier Simon & Schuster press release, which I remember reading but couldn't relocate. It contained an heroic anecdote of such absurdity I must have blacked it out the first time around. It would have to be a quote from the book, so suppressing a press release would mean reprinting the book, but, be that as it may, in the reported detail, an American fighter pilot is aloft and within effective striking range, but he is unarmed at the time--without any missiles or other offensive capabilities. Powerless, but knowing full well the hijacker's intent, the fighter pilot volunteers to crash his own jet into the errant American airliner to stay its course, thus prevent the successful completion of the terrorist attack. Conceptually, this would effectively co-opt the theme of using airplanes as missiles, while melding it to a valorous "throwing oneself on a grenade," in sacrifice for the country, but it is implausible beyond an adolescent's fantasy.

Of course, I may have simply imagined all this--in which case the joke's on me--but at least I found out of it and I shall keep looking. (The New York Times sides with me on September 13th, 2008.)

A good history of NORAD that day.

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